How will you show people your online business is doing good on the planet without proof? You possibly can say you care concerning the environment and other people, but having a third-party say it’s stronger and more credible. That is one reason some organizations seek B Corp Certification.
In this text, we’ll share what it means to get B Corp certified in Canada and the way you should use it to your advantage without being accused of greenwashing.
What’s B Corp Certification?
B Corp is an official certification that claims your online business acts in a way that advantages society as a complete. It says your online business prioritizes people and the planet in the whole lot you do.
It involves a rigorous assessment to make sure you comply with three key areas:
- Social and environmental performance: What you are promoting takes motion to indicate it cares for people and the environment. This may increasingly include ethical treatment of staff and vendors, ethical supply chains, charitable giving, and other measurements of your organization’s overall impact on society and the environment.
- Public Transparency: You could post your impact reports on the B Lab website. That is to construct trust in B Corp organisations.
- Legal Accountability: You possibly can provide proof of your steps to grasp the impact of your actions on all stakeholders (employees, communities, customers, suppliers, environment, and shareholders).
Advantages of becoming a B Corp in Canada
B Corp is greater than a certification. It acts as a normal for ethical businesses. Listed below are a couple of advantages of earning B Corp certification in Canada:
- Attracting passionate people: More often than ever, people decide to work for corporations with like-minded, positive values regarding people and the environment. You’ll attract individuals who will give 110% towards your societal and environmental values.
- Making good marketing: In keeping with BCorporation.net, there was a 488% increase in news attention towards B Corp corporations (2022 in comparison with 2019).
- Protecting your legacy and mission: B Corp framework, when followed, can increase the quantity investors are willing to speculate in your organization,potentially paying 10% more.
- Connecting and partnering with other B Corps: You’re more more likely to search for other B Corp Certified corporations to do business with, strengthening the positive impact you’ll be able to make together.
- Improving operational performance: With B Corp accountability, you’re more more likely to prioritize positive societal and environmental impacts for consistent improvement.
- Differentiating yourself from competitors: If a customer or client is shortlisting a recent supplier or company to do business with, they’re more more likely to select the B Corp business.
Tips on how to get B Corp status
It could take 8-12+ months to get B Corp Certification. It might require many members of your organisation to assemble information and details mandatory to prove your online business processes, initiatives, and values.
Listed below are the steps to use for B Corp certification in Canada:
- Understand the business case: Make sure you understand what you might be applying for and what commitments it requires. Understand your online business case for applying and your legal requirements to adapt with certification standards.
- Create a team: B Corp certification applications require you to assemble a team. On the very least, you wish buy-in out of your board of directors, investors, and employees. It could help to drag in representatives out of your legal, human resources, procurement, facilities, and leadership teams to support your bid.
- Do the B Corp impact assessment: This questionnaire might be accomplished online. When you create an account, you’ll be able to save the assessment links and return anytime to update them. This is useful in the event you need more information before completing your application.
- Check your rating and submit: Upon completing the assessment and achieving a rating of a minimum of 80, you’ll be able to submit your assessment to the certification committee for review. In the event you don’t achieve the minimum rating, you’ll be able to apply again later when you will have done the mandatory improvements in your organisation. The applying fee is $150 US.
You’ll must reconfirm your compliance by re-submitting an impact assessment every 3 years.
Examples of B Corps in Canada
Listed below are a couple of Canadian B Corps you might recognize:
Fairware Promotional Products focuses on custom-branded, sustainable promotional products. They source ethical and environmentally responsible products. Fairware assesses all recent suppliers based on their Fairware Supplier Code of Conduct to make sure they partner with others who share their ethical and environmental values.
(Fairware is an Out-Smarts Marketing client, and we’re honoured to assist support their sustainable values through their digital marketing.)
One in all Fairware’s sustainable suppliers is Patagonia Works. Patagonia is a clothing manufacturer that demonstrates a bias for simplicity and utility. In an industry not typically known for being environmentally friendly, they actively work to limit their ecological impact. They design using materials that might be recycled and enact proactive measures to their entire manufacturing process to attenuate the environmental effects.
Chop Value is one other Vancouver-based company (and supplier for Fairware). They save picket chopsticks from landfills and switch them into stunning furniture, home decor, and homewares. Chop Value sources the chopsticks from local communities through a franchising model. The corporate goals to create a positive and resource-efficient impact for a carbon-neutral future.
Many Canadian business owners could also be accustomed to the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC). They support Canadian entrepreneurs with financing and advisory services. In addition they have various programs, workshops, and support to assist Canadian businesses get their B Corp certification.
Coffee aficionados in Vancouver know Salt Spring Coffee. They’ve put social responsibility and sustainability at the center of their business. The corporate stays true to its commitment to support organic farming (through its Fair to Farmer program), donating 1% of profits to modern environmental projects worldwide, helping isolated Nicaraguan farmers install solar panels, and dealing with a farming co-op run by women in Uganda.
Ethically including green marketing in your organization
Green marketing is when an organization promotes environmentally friendly or sustainable products and/or business practices. If you will have earned B Corp Certification, you need to advertise in your organisation’s marketing. Nevertheless, it is advisable to strike a fragile balance between green marketing and greenwashing.
Greenwashing is when an organization is (purposefully or is perceived to be) making false claims about its green and sustainability initiatives. Even with B Corp certification, you’ll be able to still be accused of greenwashing. Make sure you’re doing all of your green marketing ethically. To avoid being called out for greenwashing, listed below are three things you’ll be able to do:
- Include a B Corp or Environmental page in your website: Include your B Corp logo in your homepage (the footer is a great place) and include it, together with a written commitment to social and environmental sustainability, on a dedicated B Corp or Environmental page in your website.
- Back-up claims with data: Even with B Corp certification, it’s a best practice to all the time back up environmental claims with actual data. Third-party verified data is best, but any data will do.
- Compare responsibly: If comparing the sustainability of your products to a competitor, make sure you’re comparing similar products. Likewise, if comparing your ethical or societal values to that of one other company, make sure you’re comparing one similar in area of interest to yours.
Learn more in our guide to greenwashing and how one can avoid it.
Are you an aspiring B Corp?
Does your organization prioritize people and the planet? In the event you’re on a mission to do good on the planet, we would like to assist. Check with the Out-Smarts Marketing team, and we are able to provide help to position your marketing to indicate off your best attributes: your commitment to creating the world a greater place. It doesn’t matter if you will have B Corp certification or are only doing all of your small part. We’ve got the abilities and experience to provide help to grow your impact on the world through digital marketing.
Book a free consultation today to learn the way we can assist.
DID YOU KNOW: Our team at Out-Smarts began their B Corp journey in 2018, then the Pandemic hit and we got busy supporting our clients. We’re getting back on course now and hope to acquire our own B Corp certification in 2023.